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Orestes Brownson And Me

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Alex Wilgus surprises me with his flattering comparison of Your Working Boy to Orestes Brownson. Turns out it’s really a short essay in praise of the blogger as intellectual work-in-progress. Excerpt:

We live in searching times, but ours is not the first. Instead of deriding the insecure footing of searchers, Lasch gives us leave to appreciate the oft-derided intellectual life of people outside the academy. After all, having the guts to publish one’s thoughts is a good way to test them out. It’s a sort of populist education that can easily lead to demagoguery if one is unreflective, but if one is smart, honest, and has a healthy receptivity to criticism, one may achieve a career like Brownson’s or Dreher’s and produce with little other than a sharp mind and a small publication, a real contribution to intellectual history. Sure, one could measure one’s thoughts more thoroughly before declaring oneself, thus saving oneself from a good deal of derision, but not everybody is so settled on one’s own philosophy and tradition as a Ross Douthat or a Jonathan Chait.

That’s really kind to a TMI typer like me. Thanks

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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